every golden leaf

i looked out the bathroom window
one morning and caught the neighbour’s
cottonwood tree all a-quiver in the
blush of the morning sun. every golden
leaf shimmered spangle-like as the tree
thrilled to the whispering wind; i thought
my heart would burst with beauty.

the hedge across the field is slow to
turn at first. red leaves one by one
prick like sparks the darker green
until suddenly the whole row is
engulfed, ablaze, glowing with
electric, almost palpable joy.

now it’s november; the world grows
cold. the trees abruptly drop their
garments and stand naked but for
the last lingering leaf or squirrel’s nest
crown. will they remember their defiant
splendour when the ice outlines every
unprotected branch and bump of bark?

i will.

— — — — —

Written for Writer’s Digest’s November PAD Chapbook Challenge. Day One: A glorious poem